Fresh Playstation 4 rumors emerged on Wednesday with details on what Sony’s next-gen console will be packing for power and what solution Sony could implement to combat the used game market. Did I hear Online Pass on steroids?
The PS4 is said to be code-named Orbis and will release during the 2013 holiday season according to sources with Kotaku. What kind of symbolism could be includied with the name “Orbis” is unknown but orbis.scedev.net is a working address on Sony’s developer network.
Sony is seemingly abandoning its ambitious plans with the Cell CPU with the Playstation 4 as the rumored specs include an AMD x64 CPU and an AMD GPU based on the current Radeon HD 7000-series capable of resolutions up to 4096×2160 or 1080p in 3D. Unsurprisingly, this shift in architecture means that the PS4 will not be backwards compatible with Playstation 3 games. According to Kotaku’s source, Sony will not even try.
The most interesting speculation in all of this is how the PS4 will treat used games. According to Kotaku’s source, new games can be purchased at retail on a Blu-ray disk or downloaded via PSN. The game will then be locked to a single PSN account and you’ll have to be online to register the game with your account before you can play it.
As for how this affects used games, think the current Online Pass system but on steroids. Retailers like GameStop will still be able to buy games back from consumers but these titles will be severely restricted when resold. Used purchasers will be limited to a trial or other content restriction until they pay an additional fee to unlock the full game.
This raises the questions of how this affects a household with multiple PSN accounts. For example, will my son be able to sign in to his PSN account and play a game that I purchased on the PS4? These are some of the details that we can only hope are clarified satisfactorily down the road.